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An inevitable farce

CENTRE OF ATTENTION: West Indies cricket

THE WEST Indies’ team’s decision to pull out of their tour of India felt like a grim inevitability.

With the players, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) variously blaming each other, the fiasco has underlined the incompetence of all parties as the West Indies continue to trawl the depths of world cricket on and off the field.

One-day captain Dwayne Bravo and his team-mates were upset at what they felt was a lack of proper consultation from Wavell Hinds, the president and chief executive of the WIPA, regarding their international earnings as Hinds signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the WICB in September without the players having seen the final draft.

The deal saw the squad waiver a $35,000 cut of the team’s sponsorship earnings, which the players agreed in principle back in February on the understanding that they could later earn some of it back.
Hinds, who absolved himself of any wrongdoing, has rejected the players’ calls to resign amid their concerns that the WICB and the WIPA are too close.

Hinds and WICB president Dave Cameron are former colleagues and lifelong members of Jamaica’s Kensington CC.

Cameron ignored Bravo’s wish for the renegotiation of MoU after the India tour, which caused the players to pull the plug.

Some influential insiders within the Caribbean cricket set up perceive Cameron to be taking revenge for the $35,000 deal he felt the WICB were duped into signing by Hinds’ predecessors at the WIPA.

All have conspired to upset the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) – the most powerful association in world cricket – which could serve to hasten the flat-lining WICB’s demise.

The BCCI have threatened legal action against the WICB, who did not even send a representative to India to deal with the dispute, for what has been estimated to be $65 million losses, as the final ODI, a T20 fixture and three Tests were cancelled.

They have already suspended all further tours to the West Indies.

The WICB have attempted to throw the players to the lions must be viewed in light of the fact that the board, which had debts of $5.7m at the end of 2013, earned $22.3m from the last Indian tour of the Caribbean and have subsisted on that income for the previous three years.

The WICB’s retained earnings at the end of the financial year 2012-13 amounted to $128,090 so there is no hope for compensation.

Rather the BCCI may have a major role to play in saving a once great adversary.

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